You are in charge of your own happiness, according to ELGP Alumni, Vidhatri Lakkimsetti! Her motto in life is “I am happy because I want to be” and this motto guides her choices in life and helps her lead positive change. This motto also helps drive her decisions so that she lives the life that she wants to live where she is true to herself.
Throughout her life, Vidhatri has learned the importance of ongoing learning and giving back to the community. This shows in her past participation in programs such as the Emerging Leaders in Governance Program as a participant and the Diverse Women’s Leaders program as a Mentor. She is dedicated to learning and improving her leadership skills. Now, she’s a mentor, committee member, and board director in multiple organisations. Talk about being an inspiration!
Meet Vidhatri in her own words…
My multicultural-influenced Indian upbringing, along with spending many years living in diverse countries like India, North America and Australia have significantly contributed to shaping my thinking to appreciate the rich learnings that diversity of people and thoughts bring to light.
Furthermore, my 20 years of work experience in the global technology corporate sector and having opportunities to create cutting-edge technology have catapulted my confidence in technology playing a pivotal role in bringing positive change to the world. I have had the privilege to be exposed to great learnings throughout my work and personal life, and I sincerely feel a social responsibility to pass on these learnings by giving my time and expertise.
Tell us how being involved in one of our leadership programs has helped you? What changed or shifted in you as a result?
I was fortunate to be part of the Emerging Leaders in Governance Program (ELGP), which equipped me with the experiential knowledge to become a board director.
I had a deep desire to give back to the community through my skill, and this program helped create an avenue to direct my passion on the right path. In addition, this program opened several opportunities for skill-based volunteering and remarkably boosted my self-confidence to chase my dreams.
Tell us about a project/cause/organisation you’re involved with and what you’ve learnt about creating positive change?
I am the board director at Southcare, an aged care service provider that has been operating in Western Australia for 40 years. I am a mentor for a Diverse Women Leadership program with participants from different nationalities. In addition, as a speaker, writer and performer, I bring awareness to the Australian community of a centuries-old Indian dance form named “Bharathnatyam”.
I have also recently joined as a committee member at 100 Women, an organisation supporting the upliftment of the well-being of women and girls around the world.
Through these community engagements, I realised that I don’t have to do something big to make an impact.
Instead, the small ripples I make with my contributions are powerful enough to create waves of impactful changes.
What was the first step you took to build your leadership or create change?
“To believe” in my untapped potential was my first step to building my leadership. It also became my mantra when I had to sustain and grow my leadership, especially when developing my professional career in countries I had never been to, like North America and Australia.
What is an important leadership lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
“Trust” – both to lead from the front or to be led. Without the trust element, there is only chaos filled with speculation and uncertainty.
Trust has to be earned over time through your actions, words and non-verbal empathetic gestures.
What reflective practices help you stay resilient?
I had the honour to interact with several people over the years who taught me the beauty of finding happiness in the simplicity of life and the power of humility amongst laurels; those teachings have always helped me to be grateful for everything I have.
Gratitude leads to peace of mind, which leads to resilience.
What habits, mindsets or behaviours help you be the best person you can be?
Staying positive, being human and loving life are the mindsets that help me to be true to myself.
What’s the best book you’ve read that’s helped you in your leadership journey?
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is the book that shaped my leadership style.
How do you take care of yourself?
My motto in life is “I am happy because I want to be”. And, that empowers me with the choice to do what brings me joy because if that choice is not with me, I will be leading someone else’s version of my life.
What’s next for you?
To strengthen my connection to the community by creating ripples of change in my small yet significant way.
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